25 November, 2011

some touch rules

My New Years' resolution is to be really super rude if other people touch me in a way I don't want to be touched.

Here's the situation as I see it:

Touching someone in a way that makes them feel less than good isn't a favor to them that they should have to appreciate and act nice about. It's not the same as a present, where if they don't like it they have to thank you anyway.

Touching someone else isn't a God-given right so if you touch someone and they move their body away from you, you should not have the same reaction you would have if someone yanked a book away from you that you were trying to read. No one is being mean or denying you anything that you deserve.

I get that you might be confused because sometimes I let you touch me even after I was saying that it bothered me, but it is hard for me to say no because I believe a lot in compromising and being polite and making sacrifices to make other people comfortable. I probably stopped stopping you because I didn't want to have a fight or make you feel weird about the fact that you were trying to force physical contact on someone who didn't want it.

But ultimately I just don't think this is the same as compromising on what to eat for lunch. It's a person's body. You shouldn't want to touch someone who doesn't want to be touched. If it makes you feel bad that this is what you wanted and what you were doing, then you should say sorry because you were doing something bad, instead of wanting me to say sorry because I made you feel bad by pointing out what is going on.

So I've just officially decided to be a terrible person, when it comes to this one thing.


  1. "So I've just officially decided to be a terrible person, when it comes to this one thing. "

    It's a start, then.

    I've found the more that a person stands up for her/his boundaries, the easier it gets to do so. But the more you keep quiet (or put yourself or are forced into situations where you HAVE to keep quiet) the harder it gets to do that.

    I don't agree that you have to say thank you for presents, either. There exists a kind of person who will get you things you don't want or need (or do "favors" like this) and then get mad at you if you don't react the way they want. This ultimately is just being controlling. Meanwhile if I know someone appreciates me doing something I don't really need them to thank me.

    I guess I just really dislike the idea that a person is obligated to ANY kind of reaction from somebody without that person's agreement.

  2. 1) I think people are entirely too touchy feely sometimes. 2) I find that I am sometimes too touchy with the folks I work with who don't use speech. I feel badly for doing that when clients I work with pull away, because I know I've accidentally violated their space/comfort. But I would still prefer their letting me know. I can live with feeling badly, but I'd feel much worse if I was never told something I was doing was bothering someone and I kept doing what I was doing and they kept suffering. 3) I think stating your truth makes you a courageous and honest person- not a terrible one. 4) I've noticed the folks I work with prefer having control over the touching. Sometimes *I* have to say, "woah! Back off please." (Of course, that could be their way of saying, "this has been my experience- you and others are/have been in my physical space. See?")

  3. I just found your blog through a series of clicking starting with ASAN.

    I never understand why anyone thinks it is okay to just touch people.

    One time my son started to get upset and someone tried to put their arm around him to calm him down- he reacted pretty harshly. Why should I have to say don't touch him when upset. My son is teenage Aspie. I am his mom, just trying to understand and be a good mom. I think I am NT although another aspie just questioned my NT status. (shrugs) either way hope it is okay for me to be commenting here. I really like your blog. Hope to check back.

    And by the way I am not sure of anyone who actually really wants to be touched, except maybe those touchy feely freaks. I don't want to be touched. There should be a no touch rule.

  4. Certain people can touch me anytime, no problem. The rest of humanity though? No freaking way.

  5. I feel really bad after reading this about how I used to try to hug my nephew. Course, it's kind of moot since he hugs me now (we get along famously).

  6. Oh my god, this, yes, thank you.

    My sister and I fight about this all the time.

    This makes me want to cry.

  7. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Stick to your resolution. It's a good one.

  8. I had such a hard time telling my best guy friend to stop hugging me so often. He clearly had a crush on me, and I tried telling him that I was not interested. But I didn't want to make him feel depressed.

    A few months later, I dated another man. He became so jealous that he stopped being my friend!

    I wonder if this all could have been avoided if only I were more blunt about his hugging habits. Maybe he would have had the message down sooner, and understood that I do not want to date him today or 10 years from now. But I very much loved his friendship, and I am sad to have lost it.

  9. Yes, wonderful resolution.